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The Theme/Amusement Park Thread
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I know. I just think you're all bad people.


I was just kidding.  The annual passholder situation is horribly inflating park traffic and distorting concession capacity, particularly as we aren't bound by the same efficiency concerns as the itinerant victims who have a limited time budget.

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AI knew it.

*slams fist on desk*
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I knew it.

*slams fist on desk*


Sometimes I like to swing by the park in the morning to get fast pass tickets to impacted rides and make restaurant reservations.  I don't intend to use them.

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A*flips over desk*

*sweeps everything off shelf*
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Any more rumors about Universal Orlando expanding to include a Nintendo Land? That would get me and my brother to make a return pilgramage for sure.



It sucked that Hulk coaster was closed and Skong Krull Island was still under construction when we went in January. We still had a blast, though. I hadn't been to Islands since 2001 or so.

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AI'd like for them to replace Toon Lagoon with Nintendo Land at Islands of Adventure.
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Popular thinking is that the KidZone area at the Studios -- current home of Fievel's Playland, the Barney show, the Woody Woodpecker coaster, and the Curious George area -- is going to be the Nintendo area, although I think that's a little small.  Especially if they plan on leaving ET and the animal show alone.  Toon Lagoon has the space, but the two rides there are still pretty popular, so I doubt that's getting a refit.



Of course, there is all the land Universal bought a ways down I-Drive from the current resort that's rumored to be a third theme park.  That could end up being home to a Nintendo Land, or any one of the other properites Universal has been rumored to have claimed over the years.

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AWhen I stayed at Cabana Bay, I had a fantastic view of the volcano they're building for their new water park/urinal.

So the rumored third gate isn't walking distance from the two parks?
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A[quote name="Bradito" url="/community/t/156050/the-theme-amusement-park-thread/90#post_4177360"]When I stayed at Cabana Bay, I had a fantastic view of the volcano they're building for their new water park/urinal.

So the rumored third gate isn't walking distance from the two parks?[/quote]

Well, we're considering Volcano Bay our third gate, so technically it will be. But there really isn't space on the current resort property for a third full-size park.

The land on I-Drive was actually owned by Universal for years and sold during the recession. Once we got flush with all that Potter money, we bought it back, and the size and location make it a logical spot for a third park. Logistically, it's not any further from the existing parks than any of the Disney parks are from each other. We just don't have Disney's luxury of owning all the land in between. Which is likely why Universal has been opposed to things like the Skycoaster project (a giant hotel with a roller coaster wrapped around it to be built on I-Drive); if you need to shuttle guests between two park locations, you don't want anything along the way that might tie up traffic.

Still, this is all assumption and guesswork. Aside from some site survey permits, there's nothing officially announced.
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AAh. I'm not really a water park guy, but I am a volcano guy. The volcano they're building -- even half-finished -- looked pretty sweet.
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AI likee da water parks. Moreso than regular amusement parks I think. I just try not to think about the pee..
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AFrom what I heard on a podcast (yes, I listen to theme park podcasts because I'm incurably insane), Volcano Bay is doing away with standard queue lines. You'll get a wrist bracelet that'll summon you when it's your turn.
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Yup, that's the plan.  I'm assuming you'll go up to a ride and instead of standing in line for thirty minutes, you just get a reservation to come back in thirty minutes and get on the ride.



And you need to not think about the pee in regular amusement parks too.  And much worse.  Trust me.

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AJurassic Park: The Ride is just a river of dinosaur urine?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

And you need to not think about the pee in regular amusement parks too.  And much worse.  Trust me.



We typically bring along tons of hand sanitizer when we go to Disney.  I wouldn't be surprised if we go through one of those small containers a day in all honesty.

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Yeeesh...



http://io9.gizmodo.com/disneys-new-avata...1789262435

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ACongrats to iO9 for publishing a piece about Avatar that doesn't spend six paragraphs talking about how no one cares about Avatar in an article being read by people who don't care about Avatar but nonetheless want to read articles about Avatar for some reason.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

Yeeesh...



http://io9.gizmodo.com/disneys-new-avata...1789262435



That. Thing. Is. Horrifying.



Same feeling I got when I first tried to watch Polar Express.  It's like an animated corpse.

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AI thought it was pretty sweet.
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I just discovered this thread, and I think it’s about time we had a place here to talk about this stuff.  I’m a HUGE Disney/Universal junkie, as evidenced by the dedicated spot in my personal library on the subject (and Disney in general)…





I’ve been to Orlando 11 times since 1991 to visit both resorts, and I regularly follow several WDW or Uni-centric websites to stay in the loop regarding the latest rumors and news.  I feel like I already missed a lot of good discussion in here, but that’s okay.  Hopefully this thread won’t die abruptly!



Quote:


Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

There isn't a person I know outside the most hardcore of Disney junkies who has even an ounce of anticipation for Avatar Land.  It's been a running joke at our annual Bill & Ted Halloween show for years now.  It's an enormous hit film that has in almost no way seeped into the popular culture, and here's Disney dumping millions into a theme park property based on it.  I firmly believe it was a panic move on Disney's part when they lost the Harry Potter rights to Universal (and they were in the running; they just weren't willing to give J.K. Rowling the degree of control and approval she was asking for).  They cast about for the first franchise they could get their hands on and all they could manage was Avatar.  This was three years before the Marvel deal and five years before the Lucasfilm deal, so if they'd just had a little patience, we could be getting Wakanda or Endor at Animal Kingdom instead.  But at the time, Universal was on the upswing, had just scored a huge coup, and Disney was getting a rep for coasting on past successes.  So they did something for the sake of doing something.


Though I think the IP is questionable, I've certainly got at least an ounce of anticipation for Avatar Land!  The scale of the expansion is incredibly impressive, and everything I've heard about it so far tells me that the environment is going to be pretty extraordinary, especially at night.  I think it will be a quality addition to a park that still probably needs at least one more major expansion of similar size to fully round it out.



But yes, there's no denying it was a "panic move" from Disney in order to try to compete with Universal's Potter lands.  If Disney's expecting that kind of rapturous response from guests, they're setting themselves up to be disappointed.  There's no way Avatar will move merchandise and food/beverage in the way Potter does.



And I love Disney, but thank God they didn't get the Potter rights.  The concept I've heard they pitched was vastly inferior to what Universal delivered.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

Any more rumors about Universal Orlando expanding to include a Nintendo Land? That would get me and my brother to make a return pilgramage for sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

Popular thinking is that the KidZone area at the Studios -- current home of Fievel's Playland, the Barney show, the Woody Woodpecker coaster, and the Curious George area -- is going to be the Nintendo area, although I think that's a little small.  Especially if they plan on leaving ET and the animal show alone.  Toon Lagoon has the space, but the two rides there are still pretty popular, so I doubt that's getting a refit.



Of course, there is all the land Universal bought a ways down I-Drive from the current resort that's rumored to be a third theme park.  That could end up being home to a Nintendo Land, or any one of the other properites Universal has been rumored to have claimed over the years.


As of about 18 months ago, it seemed the consensus was that Nintendo was definitely going into KidZone, and if the thinking then had been correct, KidZone would have already been demoed and Nintendo construction would have begun by now.  As that hasn't happened, nobody seems to know if the project has just been pushed back, or if Nintendo is now destined for the eventual (real) third theme park.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post


Well, we're considering Volcano Bay our third gate, so technically it will be. But there really isn't space on the current resort property for a third full-size park.

What are your thoughts on this?  I was baffled when I heard it, because even though Volcano Bay looks to be beautifully themed, I don't see anything about it that makes it anything other than another water park.  Calling it an actual third theme park feels a bit misleading, doesn't it?  I'd never call Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon "theme" parks, and Volcano Bay looks pretty much like a lush, plussed version of your standard water fare.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

Yeeesh...



http://io9.gizmodo.com/disneys-new-avata...1789262435


I don't know, I think that looks pretty jaw-dropping.  The detail in the facial movement is stunning.  It's certainly no creepier than the Johnny Depp AA Disney added to Pirates of the Caribbean 10 years ago...



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AWell, that takes a lot of the guess work out of it if Belloq ever decides to participate in one of our gift exchanges Wink
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AHey, Belloq, have you read the "Mouse Tales" books about Disneyland? After I worked at WDW, I devoured a bunch of books on the parks and Disney in general. "Disney War" is on my shelf, too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Hey, Belloq, have you read the "Mouse Tales" books about Disneyland? After I worked at WDW, I devoured a bunch of books on the parks and Disney in general. "Disney War" is on my shelf, too.

I'm pretty sure I flipped through one of them in a bookstore once, but that was back when I was a full-on WDW snob who had no use for Disneyland!  I've come around in a major way since then.  Would you say they're worth reading even for somebody who already knows most of the major anecdotes about Disneyland?

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AAbsolutely. Maybe they snuck in some things you don't know!
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Absolutely. Maybe they snuck in some things you don't know!

I will track them down!

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 

What are your thoughts on this?  I was baffled when I heard it, because even though Volcano Bay looks to be beautifully themed, I don't see anything about it that makes it anything other than another water park.  Calling it an actual third theme park feels a bit misleading, doesn't it?  I'd never call Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon "theme" parks, and Volcano Bay looks pretty much like a lush, plussed version of your standard water fare.



To be clear, we're not calling it our third "theme park," but our third park.  We're trying to avoid it being written off as just another water park, because we're really trying to do a lot of innovative things with it, especially with regards to crowd control and ticketing media.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 


To be clear, we're not calling it our third "theme park," but our third park.  We're trying to avoid it being written off as just another water park, because we're really trying to do a lot of innovative things with it, especially with regards to crowd control and ticketing media.



Will bathing suits be required, or will folks who apparently woke up and found themselves surprisingly in a swimming situation be allowed into the water with regular clothes on?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 


To be clear, we're not calling it our third "theme park," but our third park.  We're trying to avoid it being written off as just another water park, because we're really trying to do a lot of innovative things with it, especially with regards to crowd control and ticketing media.


I recognize that, but beyond technical innovation, I don't (yet) see what is going to make it different from any other hyper-themed water park.  Lazy rivers, water slides, and the like.  However, I know there's lots about the park to yet be revealed, of course.



Then again, I'm a particularly tough sell when it comes to water parks.  I think they're mostly pretty gross on a conceptual level, so it takes a lot to impress me.  I'm sure the average fan will eat it up, and it's the right move for Universal to make in continuing to expand the scope of the resort.

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ASo far, it's looking like we timed this trip right. Stand by lines weren't too ridiculous yesterday except for a few that we didn't do (like Frizen Ever After). Soarin' was only 35 minutes, for example. The crowd around the World Showcase lake for fireworks wasn't bad either.

Gonna be 80 and sunny today and it's gonna hit 85 later this week. It's so choice.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

So far, it's looking like we timed this trip right. Stand by lines weren't too ridiculous yesterday except for a few that we didn't do (like Frizen Ever After). Soarin' was only 35 minutes, for example. The crowd around the World Showcase lake for fireworks wasn't bad either.

Gonna be 80 and sunny today and it's gonna hit 85 later this week. It's so choice.

Yeah, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to be a good time for manageable crowds.  As for Soarin', it sounds like the third theater they built has really done its job; even in the supposed "off" season, I don't think I've ever waited less than 50 minutes without a Fastpass.  Keep us posted about anything notable you encounter on the rest of your trip!



In other news, Animal Kingdom's long-delayed Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular show held a cast member preview last night.  General reaction seems to be that the show is technically dazzling and refreshingly contains no Disney IP, but also lacks a singular "WOW" moment.


Rivers of Light - First impressions



I hope the show is a success and - coupled with Avatar opening next summer and improved dining options that have opened over the last year - makes Animal Kingdom a viable place to spend an evening.  I think it's a gorgeously designed park and should be stunning after dark.

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AWhat do you soar over on Soarin' at Epcot? At DCA, you soar over California.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

What do you soar over on Soarin' at Epcot? At DCA, you soar over California.

Until last summer, Epcot's Soarin' was the same as DCA's California version, though the fact that it focused on California was never emphasized at Epcot in the way it was at California Adventure.  Epcot's Soarin' is now the same as the one that opened in Shanghai, which features destinations from around the world, and I believe DCA's version transitioned to that one, as well.

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AReally? I skipped Soarin' when I was at DCA a couple months ago. Silly me!
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I've heard the video presentation isn't as good on the new Soarin' as it was on the original.  People saying the curvature of the screen is really noticeable now and affects the image.

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AThe Simpsons ride could use an upgraded video presentation. It's looking awfully dim.
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